First lines on WIP Wednesday

gothiccastleBecause I particularly like the first lines of the new story I started last week (tentatively called The Prisoners of Wyvern Castle — and yes, Carol Cork, this is your story), I’m inviting you all to share with me and the blog readers the first lines of any chapter of your work in progress. I usually say 7 to 10 lines, but I’ve overdone it today.

As soon as he said the last words of the blessing, the fat priest stepped towards them, a broad smile on his face. “May I be the first to congratulate your graces?”

But the man to whom Linnie had just been joined in the bonds of Holy Matrimony ignored the outstretched hands and whirled around to advance on Lady Wyvern, who stood behind them.

“Very well. I have done what you demanded. Where is she?”

“Penworth, your manners.” Lady Wyvern scolded, but the Duke of Penworth ignored her tone and spoke over the rest of her complaint.

“You promised to return her if I married Graceton’s sister. Well. We are wed. I want her back, Lady Wyvern, and I want her now.”

Lin was trying to make sense of it all. The duke had been forced to this marriage as well? By a threat? But to whom? Surely not… not his mistress?”

She stole a look at her half-brother, Baron Granville, who was openly amused. “Send the boy back to his rooms, Margaret, and my sister with him. His treasure is there, is it not? Oh do not fret, vicar. You will get your fee and your portion of the wedding breakfast.”


21 thoughts on “First lines on WIP Wednesday

  1. This is the opening lines from “The Duke’s Bride. Enjoy.

    With three days and two nights of hard riding on his war charger, Simon was ready to bring his journey to an end. He brought his beast, Mars, to a halt and gazed at the scene in front and to both sides. He stood in his stirrups to watch a large herd of sheep graze in the field. He scanned the forest that curled past the stables and down to the river looking for anything amiss. Nothing had changed.
    Retaking his seat, Simon thought back over the two years since he’d last ridden by the rampant lions which were situated atop matching stone pillars. They marked the entrance to the ducal palace. At that time he’d ridden out as Simon, Marquis of Sheffield and today he was riding back in as Simon, The Duke of Kettering.

  2. “If the new earl doesn’t arrive soon, I shall throttle him!”
    Lily, Lady Langley paced up and down in the conservatory behind Langley Abbey, alternately staring outward into the gloomy day and then inward at the slightly sickly-looking plants arranged around her path.
    “You can hardly throttle him if he hasn’t arrived, dear,” said the elder of her two companions, not taking her eyes off the embroidery she was attempting. “In any case, we need him alive, so you may not throttle him.”

  3. Beginning of the Seige of Charleston………

    On March 11 British ordinance, supply and transport ships entered the Stono River and anchored in the bay where the river joins the Wapoo Cut. At the point where the Cut flows into the Ashley, exactly where I had my fatal meeting with the reality of Revolutionary War espionage, black labor gangs were building a triangular fort opposite the southern fortifications of Charles Town. Old English legends talked about the benefit of a human sacrifice to insure a strong foundation. If so, that fort had the solidest possible foundation in the form of the mutilated corpse of a British officer. Ten artillery pieces were mounted to shell American ships and the fortifications on the other side.

  4. They numbered fewer than twenty. Each wore a hooded cloak, brown or black, and with synchronised steps and huddled formation, they looked like a single lumbering misshapen beast. There was no baggage train; their possessions were slung on their backs in leather packs secured with twine. Boots that gaped between sole and upper crunched the earth, each footstep scattering a puff of fresh snowfall.

    The opening of my WIP which I’m chuffed to say was a prize-winning entry in a comp judged by Fay Weldon! She encouraged me to pull my finger out and get in finished, so that is what I’m now attempting to do, when I’m not blogging at

  5. After cutting the first two chapters of Shipmate, here is the new opening.

    “There is Lady Lisbourne.” Beneath the raucous dance music, Minerva, Lady Effingale, had to speak in almost a full voice to emulate a whisper, making her niece wince beneath the certain onslaught. “I plan to introduce you, but best wait until she is alone; her eldest son’s wife has a vicious tongue, and will not hesitate to call out your many faults.”

    Miss Isabella Smithson nodded, bottom lip caught between her teeth, fingers twisted in her skirt. Aunt Minerva’s hard eyes, set deep in her forbidding face, roamed from Bella’s hair, which must look a rat’s nest by now, after an hour in a warm ballroom, to her hem, which had been splashed by a carriage in the street.

    “Her fourth son is pockmarked, but not entirely without means, and if he won’t have you, we might be able to place you with her as a companion. I’m told she is getting a bit dotty.”

  6. I love all of these! Here is mine, from what is tentatively titled With This Kiss –

    Sarah woke slowly, the distant peal of a clock striking the hour an interruption of the dream in which she finally got the last word with the odious Duke of Westerfell. Unable to suppress the smile such a thought caused, she reached for the bell pull that hung from the frescoed ceiling of her bedchamber. Instead of the rope, worn soft from years of use, her hand met air. She peeled open first one eye, then the other, and tried to make sense of her surroundings.

    The first thing she noticed was the brilliant shaft of light streaming in through the bare bank of window across from the large bed. Gone were the thick bed curtains, inherited from a long gone ancestor who favored the night and abhorred the sun. Blinking away the glare of light, she bolted upright, suddenly quite awake.

  7. Thanks, Jude. Wow, what an opening! Why were these two forced to marry? Who is Lady Wyvern holding captive? What’s going to happen next? A highly emotional, unstable situation like this can’t last!

    The title of both the story and the antagonist are quite evocative, since the word wyvern means a type of dragon. The obvious subject of my WIP, “The Weeping Dragon”. Here are the opening lines.

    Dragons cannot weep. So say the books on these creatures written by the most learned masters of arcane lore.

    Yet I, Mary of Ormsby, sorceress and chronicler, have seen with my own two eyes a dragon who wept copious tears. It used to coil itself around the tall rock of Spindleston Heugh where its bronze scales glistened in the sun. There it would moan and cry day and night. A hideous monster widely feared; yet pitiful as well.

    For once it was human. Even as you and I.

    Feedback is welcome. Happy first day of autumn, everyone! Or spring, depending on your hemisphere.

  8. Whoa! Great beginning. Here’s the opening of Dangerorous Weakness.
    If women were as easily managed as the affairs of state—or the recalcitrant Ottoman Empire—Richard Hayden, Marquess of Glenaire, would be a happier man. As it was, the creatures made hash of his well-laid plans and bedeviled him on all sides.

    “What did we miss now? I can tell you’re unhappy.” Will Landrum, Earl of Chadbourn, and one of the handful of men who would call Richard ‘friend,’ was not fooled by the cool façade and bland expression with which the marquess surveyed his ballroom.

    “Who invited Lilias Thornton?” Richard demanded under his breath. His eyes followed a slender young woman who paced out the steps of the Quadrille across the parquet floor of the earl’s ballroom.

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